China busts major Euro 2016 online betting ring; Vietnam gambling cases near 5k in H1

china-vietnam-euro-2016-online-bettingAt long last, China has made a late run at securing the Euro 2016 illegal betting bust title.

After staying uncharacteristically quiet on the Euro 2016 betting bust front, Wednesday saw Chinese media outlets report that police in Guangdong province have broken up a major online betting syndicate following simultaneous raids in five cities. A total of 543 suspects have been detained as part of an operation dubbed Jufeng-10, which was launched on June 21.

Liang Ruiguo, deputy director of the criminal investigation bureau of the provincial Department of Public Security, said the “soccer betting gang” had attracted “a large sum” of wagers since Euro 2016 kicked off on June 10. The raids resulted in the seizure of cash totaling RMB 3m (US $452k) and the freezing of another RMB 90m ($13.6m) held in 983 bank accounts.

Liang said the Jufeng-10 operation targeted betting agents in Foshan, Shenzhen, Guangshou, Dongguan and Shantou. Police continue to pursue other agents who have so far evaded detection and Liang said “special efforts will be made to crack down on gambling gangs, bankers, key members and beneficiaries.”

Over the border in Vietnam, police have followed up this month’s bust of a major online football betting ring by arresting 10 individuals who ran an illegal football betting operation in Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi and Hai Phong. Police said the gang provided punters with access to bank accounts that were used to transmit cash to and from internationally licensed online betting sites.

Vietnam’s Ministry of Public Security held a press conference this week to trumpet its success in waging war on illegality. Over the first half of 2016, the Ministry claims to have launched 21k criminal cases, of which 4,820 were gambling-related and 242 involved online football betting. An estimated 21k individuals were arrested as a result of these gambling cases.